It’s E3 time! That means it’s time for Christmas to take a look at which companies will be murdering his wallet this year!
E3 and I have a strange history. I didn’t actually start paying attention to the conference until the one in 2005 or 2006. Whichever the PS3 debut one was. I’d say that year pretty much summed up my thoughts on E3 since then: A few cool things with lots of disappointments and things to make fun of. I’m looking at you Giant Enemy Crabs. I’m not really a huge Sony fanboy, at least not as big as Kana, and I have zero interest in whatever Microsoft’s doing on any given day. My true allegiance has been with Nintendo since I was about age four and got my first GameBoy. The only issue is with the Wii U already out and most games that were talked about for it haven’t even come out yet, I didn’t really have any reason to care about E3 this year.
We all know what the big talking points this year are. PS4 and Xbox One. Both Sony and Microsoft announced them before E3 to mixed response. Sony showed plenty of great information at their unveil, but didn’t bring the console with them. For whatever reason, they got a lot of negative feedback for that. I think it was one of the smarter moves, since you can talk about what you want in a machine without saying what you want it to look like. In the grand scheme, a shape doesn’t matter a whole lot. The biggest thing Sony dropped in the initial reveal was the ability to stream gameplay. Microsoft showed off Xbox One three weeks before E3, saying they wanted to talk mostly about hardware. I’m not going too into detail everything they mentioned at that reveal because Siege has already done that. The few things I will point out that were good news for Xbox One are the Blu-Ray drive and… I guess just the Blu-Ray drive.
One weird thing about E3 this year is that everyone had their conference on the same day. I guess they wanted to give everyone actually going to have a chance to get hands-on with all the new games and hardware. The other weird thing is that Nintendo didn’t even have a real conference, just a Nintendo Direct, which is their new way of releasing big chunks of news whenever they feel like it. That’s one of the reasons I support Nintendo as much as I do; they always do their own thing and don’t worry about the competition. While Kana and Elk were busy watching and reporting on the conferences, I just yawned my way through it. I think I may have been absent for Ubisoft’s conference.
So what did each company have to showcase? Microsoft was up first, and they brought some games like they promised. The biggest issue I have is that they don’t have a lot of exclusive games, and even fewer of them sound any good. Halo 5 is obviously a big deal, but it’s pretty expected at this point. The only other exclusive I’ve heard a decent amount about is Titanfall, but those two alone aren’t a reason for me to get the new Xbox. Some of the games they showed aren’t even Xbox One exclusive, they’re coming out on 360 too. And then there’s the price point: 500 bucks. I don’t know how much 360 was at launch, but $500 is pretty steep for not having anything that I want to play.
EA came after Microsoft, and I just can’t take them seriously anymore. The only reason EA gets any of my money is they own PopCap, and even that’s a bit of a stretch. I have Plants vs Zombies on four different systems, including my iPhone, and because they give this game away like candy I’ve never actually had to pay for it myself. Speaking of PvZ, that’s exactly what EA opened the floor with. Only instead of the lovable tower defense game, they’ve turned it into a third-person shooter called Garden Warfare. I’ll be honest, I don’t like it. It looks stupid and it’s just proof that all EA knows how to make anymore is shooters and sports games. Then they announced Peggle 2 with way more enthusiasm than anyone playing Peggle has ever had. Then I think they talked about a bunch of sports games and I just tuned out at that point. The new Call of Duty will let you play as the MoCap dog in multiplayer I think.
I paid even less attention to Ubisoft, mostly because I wasn’t present during their stage time. After taking a look at overviews, it seems like the big thing they showed off was Watch Dogs, which was talked about last year. I know games take a long time to make, but from what I’ve been reading Ubisoft didn’t show anything new about it. The only other thing that interests me from them is the South Park game they picked up, but I know plenty of people are excited for Rayman. Okay, I know that Siege is excited for Rayman.
Then Sony came on. They did the one thing they needed to do: show the PS4, which looks great. Not only did they show the PS4, they showed off a ton of great exclusives for it. I am super excited to get my hands on inFamous: Second Son for many reasons. The first is that it stars Troy Baker and Travis Willingham, the latter of which looks like they put directly in the game. The second reason is that compared to Cole from inFamous, the new protagonist, Delsin, has flame and smoke powers which are pretty freakin’ awesome. Sony also did another thing that Microsoft kinda glossed over by supporting indie developers. Forget everything you thought was good about E3, the best game is Octodad 2: Dadliest Catch. Square Enix had their big showcase as well. Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now FFXV which looks great and we finally have confirmation on Kingdom Hearts 3. The icing on the cake is that the PS4 is only $400, a full $100 less than Xbox One and $200 less than PS3 launched at. Sony wins.
Nintendo’s Direct didn’t go up until the day after everyone else had their show. I’ve seen a few complaints that they’re playing it too safe and catering to nostalgia, but I think it’s important for someone to. I don’t have a Wii U yet, and probably won’t get one until I know more about Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem but they showed off a lot of good stuff for it. Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World are sure to be big hits regardless, especially after how well their previous games did on 3DS. Pokemon X and Y got some more info including the official reveal of the new Fairy type that beats Dragons now. Other than a few new trailers for things already talked about like the new Mario and Luigi RPG and Shin Megami Tensei 4, the big killer is Super Smash Bros. Still without a subtitle, SSB already has three new challengers: Villager from the new Animal Crossing, classic NES Megaman, and the female trainer from Wii Fit. Tumblr has exploded with gifs of psychotic personalities for Villager and Wii Fit Trainer, all of which are really funny. Combined with Sony’s explosion, Nintendo showed a stronger hand than Microsoft as well.
Overall final thoughts are that I have not nearly enough money for all these games. In addition to trailers that make SMT4 and Dragon’s Crown, which I already planned to buy, Sony and Nintendo have put my wallet on lockdown. I think the best bet for me is to wait it out until the games I want have release dates like Kingdom Hearts, inFamous, Octodad and Smash Bros, but until then I still have a massive backlog of games to play anyway. If you’re really crazy and need to get a release day console for either PS4 or Xbox One, you might be out of luck but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on Amazon or your local game store. Happy gaming and here’s to less shootings than the 2006 holiday season had for PS3.
QUESTION TIME! Have your own thoughts or concerns about E3? That’s what the comment section is for!